Best Sleeping Habits From Around the World

Sleeplessness can have a serious effect on your ability to focus and enjoy your life. Take some inspiration from these unique sleeping methods and try them out for yourself!

By Aditi
09 Jul 2022

Sleeping. It’s an activity that everyone does, yet not enough people talk about. A 2011 study published in the National Library of Medicine (USA) shows that humans, on average, spend one-third of their lives sleeping or trying to sleep.


If you’re figuring out the best sleeping situation for you and your partner or your child, you might want to look globally for some inspiration. While it might be surprising to you, many unique sleeping methods actually end up working pretty well for different needs, so let’s have a look:


Scandinavian Sleeping Method

Many couples love sharing a bed during the initial days of their cohabitation, but it can turn gnarly in no time. Between tug of war for the duvet and space to stretch one’s legs, there are many reasons why couples quickly start disliking sleeping together.


But the Scandinavian sleeping method ensures that both partners get a good night’s sleep with a simple trick, having separate duvets. When each individual gets their own blanket while sleeping in the same bed, it can reduce fights for the blanket and ensure that both partners are comfortable while sleeping. Scandinavian countries, according to a study by Sleep Junkie, tend to have higher sleep quality compared to others, so it’s a safe bet to say that this could be the solution to your bed-sharing woes.


Spanish Siestas

The Spanish are some of the jolliest people around, and you may perceive they’re always full of energy. Well, some of that energy can be rooted back to a habit that is dated back thousands of years, taking an afternoon nap.


Spanish siestas are basically a time when many people in Spain and surrounding countries go back to their homes at midday to eat a relaxed lunch with family and then take a nap. Many of us have dealt with an afternoon slump at one time or another, and the cure for that just might be something as simple as an afternoon siesta!


Japanese Inemuri

The technical definition of ‘inemuri’ is ‘sleeping on the job,’ but the actual phenomenon is quite different. Whether at a train station or in the movie theatre, sleeping in public is much more common in Japan than you might think. In fact, the sight is so common that people are actually recommended to sleep whenever they can, wherever they are.


Japan is known for being a hardworking nation, and to maximise that, people had to be very busy. Inemuri allows people to multitask, where even a small fifteen-minute break between work can be converted into an energising nap.


Guatemala’s Worry Dolls

Many of us, while growing up, had a teddy bear, stuffed toy, or even a blanket to give us solace when trying to fall asleep. But as we grew up, we may have outgrown such items as a way to induce sleep. Guatemala’s indigenous population came up with ‘worry dolls’ to help them sleep better.


The concept is simple: if your worries are preventing you from falling asleep at night, simply entrust the responsibility of your worries to a doll! An individual tells their worries to the doll, and then places them underneath their bed after doing so. Sleeping with the wood/wire doll underneath your pillow enables you to sleep unburdened while the doll handles the worrying for you. A 2007 study by neurologist Lieberman reveals that verbalizing our feelings can help us be less reactive and more mindfully aware.


Botswana’s Unscheduled Sleep

Indigenous forager groups in Botswana don’t believe that only night is for sleeping. In fact, their philosophy about sleep is quite simple…do it whenever you feel like it! Whether in the afternoon, evening, or midnight, they choose to sleep whenever their body and mind want to.


This phenomenon isn’t just true for Botswana, but indigenous groups in Paraguay and other surrounding countries follow it too. They force less control into their lifestyles and bodies and instead listen to what their bodies. It can make the concept of time and schedules quite meaningless, as they are attuned to the needs of their body.


Australia’s Group Sleeping Sessions

Many indigenous groups in Australia aim for more than just sleeping when they want to rest. Co-sleeping is encouraged in indigenous groups in Australia as a way to harbour trust, companionship, and compassion for others.


They lay out their beds in rows whenever it is time to sleep, with vulnerable members like the elderly and kids in the middle and adults towards the end. It was initially a protective mechanism that ensured that stronger individuals towards the end could take care of any dangerous situations that arose. Even today, co-sleeping is common in these groups and in cities as well. Mothers tend to sleep with their child until they are comfortable enough to sleep alone.


The Phenomenon of Naked Sleeping in Britain

Many of the British population have a preference for sleeping naked, as stated in a 2013 study by the National Sleep Foundation (USA). While it is a much higher percentage than in any other country, sleeping naked has some benefits. According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleeping naked may help keep the body’s core temperature cooler, and less fluctuating temperatures can enable the body to get better rest.


Sleeping naked can also aid in preventing Candida yeast (responsible for yeast infections in women) from spreading. Sleeping naked with your partner can help increase feelings of fulfillment and ensure a stronger connection between the two.


Sleeping Early in Belgium

Many Indians tend to have dinner late into the night, even as late as 11:00 pm, so it definitely might surprise you that some people go to bed way earlier than that. On average, Belgium has one of the earliest bedtimes in the world, even for adults. The average person in Belgium can go to sleep anywhere from 9:00 pm to 10:30 pm and generally tend to have a longer rest because of it.


Inform yourself more about sleep by checking out these resources:

Sleep Deprivation: The Real Reason You Are Losing Sleep

Sleep Disorders - Types, Impact and Treatment of Insomnia

7 Ways to Recover From a Bad Night’s Sleep

Leaner, Happier, and Healthier - The Perks of Sleeping in A Dark Room

The Best Posture to Sleep In

3 Habits for Getting Better Sleep




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